High-Stakes Trial Begins Over 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

Feb 25, 2013

The high-stakes trial to determine who's responsible for the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill began Monday in New Orleans.
Credit The Associated Press

A BP lawyer says other companies that worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling project made crucial mistakes that led to the deaths of 11 workers and the massive 2010 Gulf oil spill.

BP attorney Mike Brock acknowledged during his opening statements Monday for a high-stakes trial that the London-based company also made mistakes and "errors in judgment" before its Macondo well blew out.

But Brock accused Deepwater Horizon owner Transocean Ltd. of failing to properly maintain the rig's blowout preventer and claimed cement contractor Halliburton used a "bad slurry" that caused the well to flow before the blowout.

In his opening statement today, Alabama Attorney General argued that BP should have known its safety equipment wouldn't work right. He added that the oil giant's own callous attitude contributed to the disaster.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is hearing the case without a jury. Barring a settlement, he will decide months from now how much more money the companies must pay.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.